Defendant Derek R., originating from a side street, pulled in front of and into Plaintiff H.K. path of travel, creating an unavoidable collision.
H.K. sustained injuries to her hand, back and neck, while Chang P. sustained injuries to his head.
H.K. and Chang P. contended that Derek R. was negligent in the operation of his vehicle.
Derek R. disputed liability until the weeks before trial, but maintained that plaintiff H.K. should have done more to avoid the hazard he created.
After performing a scene inspection, plaintiffs demonstrated through computer simulation that the collision could not have transpired as described by Derek. Rather, the forensic evidence made clear that plaintiffs’ version of the collision was accurate and Derek R. negligently crossed into the plaintiffs’ right-of-way.
H.K. sustained a comminuted fracture of the fifth metacarpal causing ulnar entrapment at the wrist. She also sustained chronic pain of the back and neck. The force of the impact was sufficient to cause H.K. to suffer a fracture along the base of her fifth metacarpal and she exhibited significant swelling at the scene. Conservative treatment of this fracture, which demonstrated slow healing, failed to achieve meaningful results and H.K. was required to undergo surgical ulnar nerve release after a year hiatus in treatment. H.K. also continued to experience persistent neck and back pain in the years following the collision. H.K. was limited in the length of time that she could work and avoided certain activities.
Chang P. claimed he sustained a mild-traumatic brain injury. In the months and years following the collision, Chang began to experience difficulty with memory and concentration, which went largely undiagnosed, but plaintiff’s experts made objective findings of mild-traumatic brain injury and post-concussion syndrome.
The day before trial, Derek R.’s insurer accepted the plaintiffs’ C.C.P. 998 offers for $749,999.99, and $349,999.99, which resulted in a total settlement of $1,099,999.99.